Sonia Rykiel's Left Bank gamine is just back from a trip to the U.K., where she loaded up her suitcases with tartans, fisherman's knits, Fair Isle sweaters, and argyles. She even found room for a pair of brothel creepers, the shoes beloved of Britain's teddy boys. Heritage fabrics were a big trend at the London shows, but this felt different, a bit discombobulated in fact, despite the inclusion of some on-brand sweater dresses. Perhaps it boils down to this: You can take the girl out of Paris, but you can't take Paris out of the girl. Nathalie Rykiel, who emerged for her bow sans her mother Sonia for the first time ever, loaded up the looks with gobstopper-size pearls, pointy-toe patent pumps, and brightly colored fox stoles, although those were more Prada than Parigi. For after dark, she showed sequin-striped cocktail dresses and gowns with bra-cup busts and cutouts at the sides.
After making their way to the photo pit, the models didn't return backstage but lingered on a runway decorated with lighting sculptures designed by the Scottish artist Martin Boyce. There's the U.K. influence again, but it wasn't enough to give this collection the cohesion it needed.